Gadget Review: Corsair K70 Max RGB

Clackity-clack go my fingers, dancing over the keyboard.

6 mins read

Corsair has updated its flagship K70 keyboard yet again with the K70 Max RGB. It is, of course, primarily designed for gaming and include features that are going to make you better at your action game of choice. However, it also offers quite a nice typing experience, and on that basis it’s worth looking into for pretty much everyone.

Given that my PC gaming device of choice is the ROG Ally, and that I’m not much of a competitive player at the best of times, the K70 Max RGB does feature stuff that just isn’t relevant to me, but will be critical features to the really esports pros and aspirants. For example, the magnetic linear switch technology behind the keys of this keyboard allows players to set the actuation point of every key on the keyboard from 0.4mm to 3.6mm, and adjust it in 0.1mm increments. This feature allows you to control the speed with which the keyboard responds to your presses.

That’s a feature in plenty of older gaming keyboards too, though. It’s the second feature that’s going to really excite some players for its application in action games: It’s possible to bind multiple actions to keys, with one activated by a quick tap, and another activated by pressing and holding the key down. This feature will allow you to concentrate more activities around that all-important WASD region of the keyboard, saving you the precious micro-seconds it takes to travel to reach other keys.

A photo of the Corsair K70 Max RGB Gaming Keyboard

Otherwise, this is a full-sized keyboard and delivers exactly the kind of experience you would expect. You can set up different profiles to suit different gaming (or non-gaming) applications, and there’s a handy set of media control keys, as well as a volume wheel. The top of the keyboard is dominated by a screen, and it’s a little disappointing how little you can do with that, given that SteelSeries’ integrated screen on its keyboard is quite comprehensive (and even gives you a little Snake minigame to have a laugh with). There is plenty of lighting under the keys, of course, and there is plenty that you can do to adjust their behaviour. All features that you’d expect from any other gaming keyboard.

As for the typing experience, the K70 Max RGB holds its own. There’s a solid “thud” when the key hits the frame, and a firmness to press down on the keys that promotes precision in typing, albeit with the trade-off that over long periods of typing fatigue will start to be a factor. It’s also worth noting that the keyboard is fairly loud, though Corsair have included a couple of layers of silicone sound-dampening foam which means that typing will infuriate people around you slightly less.

Not that you’ll be lugging this keyboard to too many parties, or two and from work. Corsair has built this thing to be tough and sit firmly on your desk. The aluminium frame is incredibly solid and heavy, giving it excellent stability on the table, though at the cost of comfortable portability. Meanwhile the 1.5mm-thing PBT double-shot keycaps do indeed feel like they’re wear-and-tear resistant. This isn’t a waterproof or dustproof keyboard, nor is it formally rugged, but as long as you don’t go spilling coffee over it, you can expect that it will handle whatever abuse you send it while playing whatever action game is your poison.

A photo of the Corsair K70 Max RGB Gaming Keyboard

The software sitting behind the K70 Max RGB is decent as well. With a bit of fiddling the fine, granular control that you have over the lighting and actuation of keys really does allow you to tailor the experience to your personal preferences.

The downside is that so much of the Corsair experience is tied up with you being fully within its ecosystem. The lighting of the keys is impressive, but the iCUE software really wants you to have the Corsair mouse mat, gaming case and the Philips Hue or Nanoleaf Smart Lighting Control products, which Corsair has partnered with. It’s all a bit excessive, frankly, but I’m sure some people out there get a kick out of this kind of thing.

Corsair’s K70 is an iconic brand within gaming keyboard spaces, and the K70 Max RGB shows that the company is willing to evolve it as the market demands. For competitive gamers, the versatile feature set is like having precision sporting equipment – it will indeed give you the micro-edge that you need to enhance your natural skill and training. For those that are just looking for a comfortable typing experience, I’m not sure the K70 Max quite delivers for its price point, but it’s certainly no slouch for those times where you do have to put the games away and get some work done.

Matt S. is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of DDNet. He's been writing about games for over 20 years, including a book, but is perhaps best-known for being the high priest of the Church of Hatsune Miku.

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